Great Pozdniakov Interview!

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by sabreman, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. sabreman

    sabreman Guest


    Stanislav POZDNYAKOV: let’s wait until the next fight
    “A&F on the Ob”, October the 27'th, 2004

    Stanislav POZDNYAKOV: let’s wait until the next fight

    This is how decided the Novosibirsk sabre fencer – four times Olympic champion, bronze winner of the Athens Olympics. After an unsuccessful performance of our sabre team in Greece, when the Russians took only bronze, our team might have lost its leader, for Pozdnykov is already 31. But the Russians never give in – read about this in “A&F on the Ob”.

    Stanislav, a year ago precisely you said that right after the Athens Olimpics you would make a decision concerning your further career. The main question, I would say, which agitates the Russian sports supporters is – are you remaining in sport?

    S.P.: Yes, I’ve made my mind. I’ll most likely continue my sports career. Though I haven’t started trainings yet – the season, which follows the Olympic one, starts later, than usually. The first stage of the World Cup will be held in Budapest in February, that’s why I’m on leave till December.

    What principle conclusions have you made after the Athens Games?

    S.P.: I think we didn’t make any solid slip as we were getting ready for the Athens. Probably we got in peak form a bit too early and were a little at a decline during the Games. Here a small mistake might have occurred. Generally speaking, what happened in Greece, was rather natural. Olimpic Games are such competitions where a good luck mostly accompanies young sportsmen. It is easier for them to perform, because nobody expects highest results from them, so they feel freer on the lane. And succeed. Though a burden of responsibility impedes experienced sportsmen (me too) to show themselves at their full capacities. In the view of fighting techniques and tactics, we were prepared well during the whole season. Though in individuals, I got a rival who I hadn’t met before, and this didn’t add confidence, so I made several tactic mistakes. Speaking of team competitions, what had to happen – happened. The team, which hadn’t lost a tournament during four years, sooner or later was doomed to loss. Of course, it’s a pity it took place at the Olympics. But now, when the heat of the moment is behind, I wouldn’t make a tragedy out of this. Yes, we had a bad luck there. All the same, we remain one of the most powerful sabre team in the world. We’ve got strong moral and will, which were demonstrated at the fight for the third place.

    You once said that at the Sidney Olympics your rivals were afraid to meet you. Did you feel the same in Athens?

    S.P.: No, I didn’t. You know, the team of the 2000 sample was stronger. And younger. We were 25-27 and in our best shape. Moreover very often the success of the team depends on the third number. His sure play helps gain that strategical advantage, which the leader doesn’t let lose in the final fight. As you know, the team–mates tune up to the leader. In Sidney, we had such third number – Alexey Frosin – but lately we haven’t got a sportsmen of such level. There are two equal fencers in the team at present, Alexey Dyachenko and Alexey Yakimenko. They were both at the third position, but none of them could play reliably. Previously the team-mates could stand by each other, but we haven’t done this lately, and our rivals felt this perfectly.

    How much does the result of the duel depend on the referees? Are you satisfied with the judging at the Athens Olimpics?

    S.P.: Judging as a whole was fairly good. Generally speaking, fencing is rather a subjective kind of sport. More depends here on the referee, than, say , in football. But at the same time not so much as in gymnastics. As for the judging in Athens, nothing bad can be said by me – it was the best in the last four years.

    In comparison with the Australian Olympics our national team won fewer gold medals. Many consider this fact as one more provement of the crisis in the Russian sport. What’s your opinion?

    S.P.: I won’t speak globally– I’m not keenly aware of the situation in all sports. As for fencing, a decline is here and it is natural. The main load lies heavy on the aged sportsmen, but not a little star has risen from the young in these four years. There are many talented people, but none has become a leader yet. If such a tendency lasts, I’m afraid we can lose what we have now.

    Your achievements suggest that the main thing for you is victory, but not just participation. In any competition. Does it show itself in your life?

    S.P.: Naturally, life is more complicated than fencing, a small sports specialization. But I always strive for having a positive result, a win.

    Coming out onto the lane – what can it be compared with? Is it a stress?

    S.P.: It depends on your physical and psychological state at the moment. Plus your rival can be “comfortable” or “uncomfortable”. That’s why each coming out is accompanied with different emotions, which I would distinguish in view of confidence and uncertainty. The state can be compared with a stress, especially if the level of the competition is high. Now, when I’ve left four Olympics behind, I can say that the biggest stress for me was my first Games in Barcelona, in 1992 when I was 18. Well, and the Athens Olympics too, because we had been training for them for a long time and were going to win. But as a result, the psychological tension prevented us from realising our potential in full.

    Have you ever had a sort of confessions to yourself – here, I’ll be satisfied with a place in the three, and here I’ll just practise?

    S.P.: I’d love to, this might be reasonable. But my psychological purposes, the tasks to win at any competition don’t let me relax. Perhaps, to the detriment of the global result, such as at the Olympics or World Cup.

    You became Master of Sports at the age of 16. You are 31 now, and you are a four times Olympic champion. What has sport given to you?

    S.P.: My victories gave me confidence. Sport let me meet good people, made me mature and erudite. Due to sport I earn my living. Travelled round the world a lot. Practically everything that I achieved in my life was connected with sport.

    Sportsmen in masks seem to be enigmatical, determined, cool-headed and even cruel sometimes.

    S.P.: Oh no. In real life we have to communicate with people without a mask, that’s why we become more vulnerable. It’s nothing but a joke, though ... many a true word is spoken in jest. I don’t think I’m a cruel person or even strict. I’m rather loyal, sometimes – hasty. A certain sharpness is probably caused by the fact that I’m a sabre fencer, a representative of the most active kind of fencing. But what was earlier, my nature or sport – it’s like the question what was earlier, an egg or a hen.

    Sportsmen often have to deny themselves passions for some food. Do you often have to keep yourself in check? Which dishes do you like most of all?

    S.P. : Not very often, I guess, but sometimes, yes, especially at the beginning of the trainings for the season. I have to limit the amount of farinaceous foods, pasta, potatoes. But when you are in a constant stress before an important competition, you may eat as much as you want, you’ll never gain weight, on the contrary, you’ll lose it. As it is, I’m not choosy in food, so I can’t say what I prefer and what I don’t.

    You spend 120 days a year in Moscow at trainings. Have you ever had a thought to move to the capital?

    S.P.: I have never taken such an opportunity seriously, as I’ve understood that Novosibirsk is my life, but Moscow and all the rest are my work. It’s like a camp for me, I spend much time out of home. Nevertheless, having lived all my life like this, I feel quite comfortable and don’t want to change anything.

    What’s Novosibirskfor you? You’ve been to many countries. Your main victories were won in other cities...

    S.P.: Novosibirsk is my birthplace. I was born here not only as a human being, but also as a sportsman. Here I got my education, both basic and of life’s. It’s my motherland, the place where I’m always awaited and loved, regardless the results of my sports career. Here I’m not a stranger for sports fans, I’m familiar to them, and it’s very important to me, for I’ll always be a stranger in Moscow, New York or Paris. Moreover I’ve got a feeling of a certain link with Novosibirsk’s buildings, houses, parks, not only with people. The thoughts of home help me when I’m far away from it.

    Among the other sports you prefer ice hockey, as far as I know. Do you follow the performances of the team of Novosibirsk? What is the reason for an unsuccessful start of “Sibir” in this season, in your opinion?

    S.P.: Yes, ice-hockey and alpine skiing. As for “Sibir” , go to watch almost every game played by them. As a sports fan, I think that the decision of conditional closing of the Superleague could have led to the present situation (none of the teams will leave the Superleague this season – M.B.), the players might not be doing their best or something is going wrong. It happends. But I’m judging as an amateur. In general, I believe that any chain of bad lucks ends some day, and everything will be OK , otherwise I wouldn’t attend hockey matches.

    You were writing a Ph.D thesis on a junior sabre fencers national team training. What’s the fate of this work? Have you got the Ph.D degree yet?

    S.P.: No. I had to interrupt my work on this thesis. It was caused by the training for the Olympics. Also in my opinion the thesis has become a little bit out of date for the moment. I’m going to work on it in the future.

    You studied 9 years at the Universities, first at the Novosibirsk State Technical University, then at the Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University. You had already been an Honoured Master of Sport and a member of the national team by that time. What was this striving for studying caused by?

    S.P.: The matter is that all my family are people who got a higher education, and I believe that I can’t break the family tradition. To add to this, I promised my parents (though it happened when I was a schoolboy) that fencing won’t prevent me from studying well. Later on it became difficult to take that promise serious, nevertheless, my conscience is clear in this question. Academical education is important as it is, but futher learning from other various sources is even more important. Simply speaking – one shouldn’t only watch soap operas or sports channel, but be interested in the whole life, things that happen around. It’s generally agreed that sportsmen are narrow-minded people, so years ago I made my mind to pay attention to self-education, not to fall into this category of sportsmen.

    What do you see your life after your sports career is over?

    S.P.: I can’t say definitely at the moment. Anyway, I guess I’ll remain in sport, my knowledge and experience will be of use for further generations of sabre fencers. In my soul, I’m getting myself ready for this now.

    We’ve already talked about towns. Which of them turned to be the most lucky regarding sports achievements?

    S.P.: Nancy in France. I won five out of six stages of the World Cup here. Though there won’t be such competitions next season in this town.

    What about Beijing? Isn’t it on your lucky sities list?

    S.P.: Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Beijing.

    Anyhow your decision to continue the sports career suggests your training for the next Olympics, which will be held in Beijing in 2008, doesn’t it?

    S.P.: No doubt, I will prepare for the Olympics. But a little remark should be made. I’m not in my twenties already, so it’s not easy to plan for four years in advance. Fisrt, the probability of getting trauma rises as years pass, secondly, again because of the age, any trauma can unsettle you for long. Thirdly, now I can’t say I’m pressed out by young sportsmen, but I wouldn’t like to take somebody’s place in future. If the youth at least match my level during this period, I’ll surely give place to them, for it would be deceitfully for sport and for fencing to hold young guys back. On the other hand, a place in the national team is not kept for anybody, it should be conquered.

    If nothing of the mentioned circumstances happen – will you participate in the Olympics-2008?

    S.P.: Yes, I’m eager to do so. Now, when the passions of the Athens have subsided, a healthy sports rage is here. Of course, one may say it’s a wish to swing the fists after the fight, nevertheless – let’s wait until the next fight

    Maxim BUGAEV.
  2. sabreman

    sabreman Guest

    This great too:

    Russian Sabre
    The Soviet Sport of the 14,
    October 2004

    Russian Sabre


    Our masters’ names are written in gold into the world history of the fencing art. The Soviet and then the Russian virtuosos of the foil, sabre and epee have always adorned the top steps of the Olympic and World championships podiums. But only one kind of weapons is called Russian. And this is sabre.

    Why did it happen so? Let’s turn to the history. It was in early 50s, before the Olimpics in Helsinki, when the Soviet fencers first tried their forces against foreign rivals. Our sparring-partners, the Hungarians, defeated the novices easily. They predicted in a patronising manner that in twenty years’ time the Soviet masters would be able to compete against the world leading fencers.

    They appeared to be right in principle, and got mistaken in timing. In three years already the USSR national sabre team took the third place at the World championship. Since then on, for 50 years, the sabre fencers of the USSR and then Russia have missed the Olympic and World podiums only twice. First it happened in 1960, when in ¼ final the USSR national team gave place to the USA national team at equal scores 8:8 by the rate of strikes of 65:68. In individuals David Tyshler was the seventh. The second time was in 1984, when our team just didn’t go to the Los-Angeles Olympics.

    Today we’ll tell you about various generations of our sabre masters and will try to imagine which of these great teams would become the strongest if they faced each other on the lane.

    But first – entries of the teams taking part in a virtual sabre tournament.



    Honoured Master of Sports. A prize-winner of the Olympics-56 and of the five World championships. He got the silver both in individuals and team competitions at the World championship-58. Honoured Trainer of the USSR. Doctor of Pedagogical Science, professor. Winner of the All-Russian contest in the nomination Best scientist of Russia in the sphere of Olympic training (1995). Took part in training the ten sportsmen, who later became World and Olympic champions.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Bronze prize-winner of the Olympics-56 both in individual and team competitions. The first Soviet fencer to win the Olympic medal in the individuals. Many times World champions prize-winner in team competitions. Honoured Trainer of the USSR. It was under his direction that the USSR national sabre team won five times the World champion’s title and twice – the Olympic.


    Master of Sports of international class. At the Olympics-52, he participated in ½ final and performed the best result among the Soviet fencers at those Games. Many-weapons fencer. Was a champion of the USSR in sabre and foil fencing.

    Honoured Trainer of the USSR. One of the founders of the Russian school of fencing. Among his students are World and Olympic champions Galina Gorokhova, Alexandra Zabelina, Valentnina Rastvorova, Yury Rudov, Jakov Rylsky.



    Honoured Master of Sports. Two times Olympic champion (1964, 1968) in team competitions. Six times World champion in the individuals (1967 ) and in team competitions (1965, 1967, 1969-71). Honoured trainer of the USSR. Victor Krovopuskov and Michael Burtsev are among his pupils.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Two times Olympic champion (1964, 1968) in team competitions. Four times World champion in the individuals (1958, 1961, 1963) and team competitions (1965). Performed as the USSR national team member for 14 years (1953-1966).


    Honoured Master of Sports. Two times Olympic champion (1964, 1968) in team competitions. Three times World champion (1965, 1967, 1969) in team competition.



    Honoured Master of Sports.Four times Olympic champion (1976, 1980) in individual and team competitions. The only national fencer who won twice the individuals at the Olimpics. Seven times World champion in individual (1978, 1982) and team (1974, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1985) competitions. Two times winner of the World Cup (1976, 1979).


    Honoured Master of Sports. Three times Olympic champion (1968, 1976, 1980) in team competitions. Ten times world champion in individual (1975, 1979) and team (1967, 1969-1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979) competitions. Two times World Cup winner (1975, 1977).

    Honoured Trainer of the USSR. Serghey Mindirgasov and Grigory Kirienko are among his pupils.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Four times Olympic champion in individual (1972) and team (1968, 1976, 1980) competitions. The first Soviet sabre fencer to win the individuals at the Olympics. Seven times world champion in individual (1969) and team (1969-71, 1974, 1975, 1979) competitions. Two times (and he was the first!) World Cup winner (1972, 1973).



    Honoured Master of Sports. Two times Olympic champion (1976, 1980) in team competitions. Four times world champion (1977, 1979, 1983, 1986) in team competitions. Honoured Trainer of Russia. Chief trainer of the CIS team in sabre at the Olimpics-92.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Six times world champion in individual (1986) and team (1985-87, 1989, 1990) competitions.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Olympic champion (1992) in team competitions . Five times world champion (1983, 1985-87, 1990) in team competitions.



    Honoured Master of Sports. Four times Olympic champion in individual (1996) and team (1992, 1996, 2000) competitions. Seven times Olympic champion in individual (1997, 2001, 2002) and team (1994, 2001-2003) competitions. Ten times Europe champion in individual (1994, 2001-2004) and team (2000-2004) competitions. Seven times World Cup winner (1994-96, 1999-2002).


    Honoured Master of Sports.Two times Olympic champion (1992, 1996) in team competitions. Seven times world champion in individual (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995) and team (1989, 1990, 1994) competitions.

    World Cup winner (1990).


    Honoured Master of Sports . Two times Olympic champion (1996, 2000) in team competitions. Three times world champion in team competitions (2001-2003).

    Five times Europe champion in individual (2000) and team (2000-2002, 2004) competitions.

    THE TEAM OF THE 2000s


    Stanislav Pozdnyakov is the only sabre fencer whom we decided to invite to two teams at once. But what else could we do? He won four Olympic titles in the 90s and nowadays remains the leader of the Russian and world sabre fencing, though four years of the XXI century have passed?


    Honoured Master of Sports. World champion in team competition (2003) . Three times Europe champion in team (2002-2004) competition.


    Honoured Master of Sports. Olympic champion ( 2000) in team competitions. Two times world champion in team competitions(2001-2002) . Five times Europe champion in individual (1997) and team (2000-2003) competitions.


    THE TEAM OF THE 50s –THE TEAM OF THE 60s – 40:45

    David Tyshler represents the team of the 50s:

    — Ivan Ilyich Manaenko was our idol. We tried to copy his style, adopt his technique, we came to support him at the competitions. As a fencer, he was inventive, fast, crafty, flexible, tried to think of new tricks and techniques. He fenced in an interesting, tenacious and risky manner. Being short in height, he compensated this disadvantage by quick movements, diverse technical repertoir. He was really strong at both sabre and foil.

    Kuznetsov, as soon as he started fencing drew attention by his talent, co-ordination, varied actions. He was one of the first to adopt from the Hungarians many technical elements, peculiar to the best world fencers. This explaines his first success, in particular, the third place at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. Though he wasn’t always good at team tournaments. When he succeeded, he got undefeatable, but he didn’t like difficulties.

    — What about Tyshler?

    — I was considered to be too tall for fencing. Many thought that I was not craftful and fast enough, though they admitted my tactics as smart and strong. I didn’t fence long – started only in 1947. It happened that I performed in team competitions better than in individuals.Evidently the matter is in my character. For examle, the Polish sabre fencers regarded as leaders in those years, but I gained victories over them five times in all four competitions at the Olympics and World championships.

    Mark RAKITA tells about the team of the 60s:

    — Our generation was the first Soviet winners in sabre, we gained the victory at the Tokio Olympics in 1964. That was a striking international team which included Umiar Mavlikhanov, Jakov Rylsky, Mark Rakita and Nuzgar Asatiani, Boris Melnikov was a reserved.

    We were totally different. That was our strong point – it was difficult to fit a key to us. Rylsky was a marvelous master, a great sportsman, a personality. It’s a kind of man who at any times could be one of the best in the world.

    Mavlikhanov can be called an uncrowned world champion. He had everything to win the gold in individuals. An increadible long attack, diverse defences and counter-attacks. A “gentleman’s set” for fencing.

    Well, let someone else speak of Mark Rakita.

    — He is the leader, — David Tyshler characterizes his pupil. — He was not merely a strongest fencer, bot also tried to be the first at everything. He was imitated. Mark was noticeable first of all for his class, adjusted actions. We had a joke: if Rakita is at his best, everybody fly to him like moths fly to the fire, - and get pinned by his sabre. A rival was only trying to lift his arm, but was stopped by a sudden attack of Rakita, often one didn’t have time to realise what had happened. If we speak of the class, of the complexity of tricks, of the adjustment of actions, he has been the strongest for these 50 years.

    — Who do you think would win the virtual competition between the teams of the 50s and 60s?

    D.T.: — If Rylsky could join the team of the 50s (he was fencing at the turn of the decades), we two together would beat any team.

    M.R.: — It’s not easy to tell the result of our duel, but I guess, our team would win. You know, when a personality fights another personality, it’s not necessarily that a sportsman who performs better techniques will win. I think, we were richer in terms of technique and stronger in view of the experience, passed to us by the previous generation. The teams of the 50s just learnt the international fencing. And we came out onto the lane as equals, being first from the Soviet fencers who began winning foreign rivals.

    THE TEAM OF THE 70S – THE TEAM OF THE 80S – 45:42

    Four times Olympic champion Victor KROVOPUSKOV – the 70s team captain:

    — I got in a unique team, which almost didn’t know failures. Well, yes, there happened unlucky moments, like at the Olimpics-72, when in the finals the USSR national team lost to the Italians, but this is an exception to the rule, which says that whoever comes onto the lane, the Soviet sabre fencers win.

    I finaly joined the team in 1973 and eight years fought side by side with such masters as Victor Sidyak and Vladimir Nazlymov. Both of them won a great number of tournaments. It’s enough to say that any place except the first was considered as a failure by them.

    We were all different on the lane. Even Nazlymov and Edward Vinokurov, who both kept to similar manner of fighting. They were quick, sharp, but for all that their fencing was quite different.Victor Sidyak was completely another type: powerful, with wonderful defence (“FMLT – fighting machine of landing troops”, – specified Burtsev, sitting next to Victor). As for me, I was something in between them all. Not so fast as Nazlymov and Vinokurov, not so slow and powerful as Sidyak. But my repertoir was quite enough to compensate for my weak points (“Found the golden mean , - Burtsev comments again).

    The biggest part of the career of Krovopuskov’s long-term partner Michael BURTSEV falls to the 80s:

    — First I fought for the national team in 1976 and since then had performed for five years side by side with Nazlymov and Sidyak, and still more with Krovopuskov. Though after 1980 a new generation joined the team. They were Nikolay Alekhin, Andrey Alshan, Serghey Koryazhkin, Georgy Pogosov, Husein Ismailov, Serghey Mindirgasov. These sportsmen won six World championships one by one, from 1983 till 1990, having taken a false step only once, at the Olympics-88, in Seul. We were winning over the Hungarians before the final round with the score 8:4, and it was enough for us to win just one fight to take a total victory. But we couldn’t. The Hungarians made the scores equal and by the number of strikes left us behind.

    Serghey Mindirgasov resembled Sidyak. He was very powerful too, though a bit faster. Alshan was softer, more flexible and emotional. Pogosov is a very fast sabre fencer. His way of fencing was sometimes called adventurous, but in fact, every “adventure” was perfectly prepared. That team was also unique for all its members – Krovopuskov, Mindirgasov, Pogosov, Alshan - were left-handed. It was only I who held the weapon in my right hand.

    — Which team would win in our virtual tournament?

    V.К.: — It’s very hard to judge. There were many factors that were changing: equipment, rules, training systems. When in 1956 our sabre fencers won the Olympic bonze, it was a feat of sports, a break-through of the national fencing. But our generation considered the bronze to be a failure.

    Though if to compare our team with the others, I would put the team of the 70s in the first place, on condition that you’d add Michael Burtsev, who fought together with us at the Games in Montreal and Moscow.

    M.B.: — An ideal sabre fencer should combine the power of Sidyak, the intelligence of Krovopuskov, the speed of Nazlymov and Vinokurov. As you can see, I’ve listed all the representatives of the team of the 70s. Moreover, they leave behind all the other teams by the number of prizes.

    ½ FINAL

    THE TEAM OF 90s–THE TEAM OF THE 2000s – 45:37

    The wonderful team of the 90s is led to the lane by Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

    — I won’t exaggerate if I say that our team of the 90s was “driven” by Grigory Kirienko. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1992 the body of the team was built around him. He was a respectable team captain, the leader of all the Russian national fencing team. He could take the responsibility for the whole team, could take decisions and made us fulfil them.

    Speaking of Serghey Sharikov, we strived after Kirienko and by the end of the 90s had become leaders of the Russian sabre fencing. When Grigory left sport, Serghey and I, we tried to carry the load, which Grigory had been carrying alone. The Olympics-2000 success is tied with our creative tandem beginnings. We all were different people, though consolidated at one purpose – victory. And this team could work wonders.

    We hope the 2000s will open the Alexey YAKIMENKO’s star to the world.

    -- I think every sportsman who gets in the the national team is unique, – says Alexey. – It happened so before, it remains the same now. My partners – Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Serghey Sharikov, Alexey Djachenko, Alexey Frosin – are special each in his own way.

    But Stanislav Pozdnyakov still remains the real leader. Even if something goes wrong, he can turn the course of fight and win. Everybody who joined the national team recently followed his example. Learnt from him, borrowed his tricks.

    — Alexey, are you ready to become a team leader?

    — As I see it, people can be divided into those who lead and those who are led. Say, I wouldn’t like to be led all the time.

    If we can imagine that a symbolic team of the 90s would meet the team of the 2000s, who would win?

    S.P.: — I believe that the team of the 90s didn’t have competitors, just because the world strongest sabre fencers of that time were fighting in it. I think that such a team is born once in a century. Speaking about the score, I think the team of the 90s would win with the obvious advantage.

    — And Pozdnyakov of the 90s, meeting Pozdnyakov of the 2000s, could he win?

    S.P.: —I guess, Pozdnyakov-90s would win. There are objective reasons for this. I was more ambitious then, I had more sporty vanity, the dare of the youth, was more careless. Perhaps I lack these things now.

    THE TEAM OF THE 60S –THE TEAM OF THE 70S – 43:45

    In the 60s our national team just gained the glory of an undefeatable team, which it confirmed in the 70s year by year. That’s why we give the victory in this duel to the team of the 70s.

    The two great teams are meeting in the finals of our tournament.


    THE TEAM OF THE 70s – THE TEAM OF THE 90S – 45:44

    Probably a computer will be created in the future, which will be able to simulate the duels between Vladimir Nazlymov and Serghey Sharikov, Victor Sidyak and Grigory Kirienko. Can you imagine Victor Krovopuskov and Stanislav Pozdnyakov fighting their last duel at the score 40:39 ?

    Now we can only guess how the super-fight of these two great teams would end. Nevertheless, on long hesitation we’ve decided to give the palm to the team of the 70s. Anyway because we will probably never see again the team where three two times (!) World Cup prize-winners will fight together.


    We couldn’t tell about all the masters who created the glory of the Russian sabre. Let’s try to mention those who, in the national teams of the USSR and Russia in various years rose onto the top step of the podium at the World championships and the Olympic Games. Here are their names:

    Nugzar Asatiani (ОG 64, WCh. 65), Boris Melnikov (ОG 64, WCh 65,67), Edward Vinokurov (ОG 68,76, WCh 67,69-71,74,75), Serghey Prikhodko (WCh 70,71), Alexander Nikishin (WCh 77), Victor Bazhenov (WCh 77), Husein Izmailov (WCh 77, 83), Nikolay Alyokhin (ОG 80, WCh 79), Andrey Alshan (WCh 83,85-87,89,90), Serghey Koryazhkin (WCh 86,87,89), Alexander Shirshov (ОG 92,96, WCh 94), Alexey Ermolaev (WCh 94), Vadim Gutzait (ОG 92), Alexey Dyachenko (ОG 2000, WCh 2001-2003).

    No doubt this list will be continued...

    The original article:
  3. sabreman

    sabreman Guest

    Blades on TV. What can make the "musketeers'" sport more popular?

    The Soviet Sport of the 14, October 2004

    Blades on TV. What can make the “musketeers’ “ sport more popular?
    In recent years, the debates on which sports are worthy of being represented at the Olympics and which are not are becoming more and more heated. Up till now traditional sports manage to assert their position in the Olympic programme.

    Although many of the Federations have to make concessions, leaving out some disciplines of the programme of the Games. In this way, a team tournament in modern pentathlon has disappeared from the Olympic arenas, the number of weight categories in fighting, boxing and weight-lifting has been reduced. Meanwhile more and more new sports, such as golf, rugby, karate and wushu are knocking at the door of the Olympic family.

    The programme of the fencing tournament has been also changed. For the last fourty years women’s foil fencers fought both in team and individual competitions at the Olympics. Though in Athens they returned to only individual competitions. A tournament in the youngest kind of fencing (women’s sabre) was included into the programme instead of women’s foil team competition. The USA representatives mostly insisted on this, and as it turned out, not for nothing – an American Mariel Zagunis became the first Olympic champion in women’s sabre.

    Generally speaking, the present situation is favourable for those sports that attract the fancy, are frequently shown on TV therefore can bring a significant income to the Olympics organizers. Let’s be frank: fencers have some problems here. The duels of the masters of the blade are so dynamic that an unprepared spectator just can’t keep pace with the movements on the lane and the strikes.

    What should be done? What can make fencing more telegenic?

    We tried to find the answer to these questions together with Tatyana Koltchanova, master of sports in fencing. She had commented on the duels of blade’s masters many times.


    — A commentator in a studio gets in the conditions equal to those of the sports fans, sitting in front of the TV, and can feel in full measure advantages and disadvantages of the show.

    For example, working out the concept of the broadcasting of the Olympic fencing tournament in Moscow in 1980, a big group of television experts were experimenting with various forms of presenting the materials. We shot fencing duels from various positions and finally came to the conclusion that the clearest and easiest to understand is their front demonstration, when the fancy can make out what is happening on the lane. There were also tricky experiments. One of the editors of the Central television suggested that the “masks were taken off from the fencers”, i.e. the powerful optical equipment was used to show the faces of the fencers. They tried and got terrified. The expression of the fencers , who saluted their rivals and fans with charming smile before and after the duel got completely frightful at fight. Their faces reflected spite and cruelty, guileful and mocking grins. It conflicted with the idea of the Soviet sport, where everything was to look humane, beautiful and refined. So the idea of revealing faces was rejected then, though 24 years later, at the Olympics in Greece some sportsmen were wearing the masks with transparent visors so that the spectators could follow the changes of the emotions on their faces.

    A complex of measures is to be applied to make fencing most available for common TV audience, who might bring their children to fencing schools tomorrow or take foils, sabres and epees in their own hands.

    First of all we need high-grade, regular, easy to understand TV broadcasts of competitions of various levels. Not only the Olympic Games, World and Europe championships should be shown, but also domestic tournaments, where the opportunity to see the strongest fencers of the country is given. No doubt such shows should be properly commented to make the things taking place on the lane clear to every televiewer, who might know nothing about fencing. It’s nesessary to explain the rules of the competitions, the differences between the weapons, tell about the history and victorious traditions of the Russian fencing, about the sports schools and teachers, whom the country is famous for.


    The leading sportsmen should be recognized, then the attention to them will be greater. The recent years almost all the Russian fencing leaders appeared on the TV screens. They are Stanislav Pozdnyakov , Pavel Kolobkov, Таtyana Logunova, Oksana Ermakova, Karina Aznavuryan, Anna Sivkova, Serghey Sharikov. As never before in postsoviet times the flow of publications in mass media was enormous.

    Besides, the commentator’s personality plays an important part in a sport’s popularity. Let’s remember informative and emotional reports from the last Olympics, made by Dmitry Guberniev, “Sport” TV channel. It’s a real art to make the audience feel love to sports, impart own knowledge and devotion to them. Fencing competitions are not easy to comment on because of its technical complexity. Lately, the professionals of our sport who also turned to be able to master new skills of a TV commentator, have applied themselves to this job. Thus, Elena Grishina, who used to be a very strong foil fencer became a sports commentator on the TV channel “NTV-plus”.

    The International Federation of Fencing (IFF) experiments a lot with the rules and regulations of the competitions, being aware of the importance of TV broadcasts. These innovations are not always useful to our sport, though it gladdens us that the IFF authorities realize the importance of finding the ways to the hearts of the spectators.

    My teacher in TV journalism Serghey Pokrovsky, who commented the biggest fencing competitions for decades, always accentuated the stories about outstanding personalities, about the heroes, who brought the glory to our sport. I think, this tradition should be kept. One can understand nothing in intricacies of the fight, but the duel of characters can be exciting even to an inexperienced spectator.

    What do the fencers feel about this?

    - I believe our sport needs to be spoken about more often in newspapers, the competitions should be broadcasted, all in all the information should reach the fencing supporters. The rest is secondary. Our fencers deserve the whole country recognition, - Victor Krovopuskov, a four times Olympic champion says.

    The Soviet Sport of the 14, October 2004

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